§ Mr. SMITH-CARINGTON
asked the Minister of Labour the rates of wages in the different grades of the iron and steel industry in Belgium, Luxemburg, and Czechoslovakia, compared with the wages of similar grades of labour in the United Kingdom?
§ Miss BONDFIELD
The only information available regarding the wages of iron and steel workers in Belgium, Luxemburg and Czechoslovakia is given in the report, published as a White Paper in June, 1930, (Cmd. 3601), of the delegation which visited certain countries on the Continent in order to investigate the industrial conditions in the iron and steel industry. I understand that the Belgian National Joint Commission for the Iron and Steel Industry agreed to reduce the wages of iron and steel workers in Belgium by 2½ per cent. from 1st December, 1930, and that a further reduction of 2½ per cent. will take place on 1st February, 1931, if the industrial situation does not in the meanwhile improve. I have no information regarding wage movements, if any, during the past 12 months, in the iron and steel industry of the other countries named. In Great Britain the average earnings of workpeople in the iron and steel industry in October, 1930, the latest date for which figures are available, were 55s. 7d. a week, according to statistics issued by the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers.